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XINHUA NEWS SERVICE REPORTS FROM THE AFRICAN CONTINENT

 

African custom officials pledge to
renew fight against financial crimes

NAIROBI (Xinhua) -- Tax administrators and law enforcement agencies drawn from sub-Saharan African countries on Monday vowed to support the war against financial crimes that are undermining the continent’s economic progress.

The custom officials and forensic experts who met in Nairobi for training said that capacity development, advanced technology and robust multi-agency coordination is key to win the war against illicit financial transactions.

“As a continent, we require an adequate skills set, better understanding of law and modern forensic tools to help unearth and prosecute criminals involved in illicit financial flows,” said David Yego, commissioner in charge of investigations and enforcement department at Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA).

The eleven-day training drew 48 participants from 18 African countries and seeks to equip them with skills to conduct investigations leading to arrest and prosecution of cartels linked to financial scams like money laundering, tax evasion and bribery.

Yego said Kenya is committed to halt illicit financial flows that have escalated against a backdrop of weak policing, incoherent legal framework and under-investment in forensic technology.

“We are dealing with a host of financial crimes like any other rising economy and have gradually stepped up the momentum to minimize their negative impacts in our society,” Yego remarked.

Africa loses an estimated 50 billion U.S. dollars annually due to illicit financial flows that have worsened poverty, insecurity and social upheavals on the continent.

Juergen Leske, a program manager at OECD, said the battle against financial crimes in Africa should be accelerated in order to improve the investment climate and living standards of ordinary citizens.

“Highly trained and equipped customs, forensic and judicial officers will help curb illicit financial flows that have denied African countries funds required to develop infrastructure and provide essential services like health and education,” Leske said.

             

 

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